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Images, Graphic Design, and Digital Photography Discussion of all things graphics.

New camera - what else?


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bobtomay

 
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Ok, so I think I've about decided after looking for a long time on the Canon XSi. It comes with a EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS and the EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS lenses. Amazon has the combo for a price cheaper than any used camera I can find.

Have never used anything but a point and shoot, so I've got a lot of learning to do. Know we've got some photogs here, what other stuff do ya'll recommend I get right off the bat besides an SDHC card ... through my research seems like I should get UV filters (or lens hoods) for both the lenses and put em on right out of the box? I know the telephoto extends and rotates, so am assuming this rules using a polarizing filter (or just makes it a pita).

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I have to say, good choice, but would you expect anything else? Thats what I currently shoot with. I would recommend a second battery for one thing. I bought mine (4 of them actually) on ebay for $12 each and have had zero problems. I am looking into a new eye piece, ( hoodman probably) but haven't got it yet because I rotate horizontal/portrait alot. You might also look into a good tripod/monopod. There will also be people who debate the different flashes, but a Speedlite 430 EX II will do everything you need for now.

Will you be shooting for profit or for personal enjoyment? That will dictate what type of lens you go after next. But I suggest you get comfortable with the body in your hands. Shoot shoot shoot and practice some more to be able to get the most out of it.

I may shoot for profit, but I am far from a professional, but all the shots on my site were shot with my Xsi. They aren't perfect, but I am pleased so far.

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Phototini

 
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That is a very good entry level DSLR, but before I can offer any advice on future purchases to compliment it I need to know a few things. As Rocketman has asked already, what is the purpose for this camera? Personal use as in just taking snap shots of the family and friends/pets. Or are you going to be getting into the hobby side of photography for the long run. Or do you plan on doing commercial work with it?

So many factors to consider when making support purchases. Give us some more info and we will gladly try to point you in the right direction. And congrats on the new camera.
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bobtomay

 
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As I'm closing in on 60, this will only be a hobby for my own personal enjoyment. I couldn't compete with the experienced photogs or even the youngsters just getting into it. Do not plan on taking portraits. Don't really care about flash and would just as soon not use an external flash at this point. Primarily will shoot landscapes, animals, birds, clouds, flowers, etc.

Would like to do some macro and considering the Canon 10-22mm next, but at $1k, may have to reduce my sights down to the Sigma 10-20mm. Have a pretty decent tripod I got for use with my G9, although I've really only used it in automatic modes. Just not happy with the detail and clarity with the pics when I do 100% crops.

Really wanted to like the T1i or 50D, but from all the review sites and looking at pics, I just couldn't justify the cost of the glass those will require to get the clarity I see in the XSi. Considered a used 40D, but after going and putting the 50D in my hand, that thing would feel like carrying around a dozen bricks with a decent lens on it. And the Nikon, after finding a good price on one in CL, I was really disappointed with the ergonomics in my hand - felt it was years behind the Canon in that area. Found out what people meant by going and holding them for yourself before just purchasing one online.

PS. Anyone else looking for a DSLR right now, that Canon combo with both lenses is only $755 after a discount that is applied when you go to check out at Amazon. You'll be hard pressed to even touch that used or gray market on ebay or CL at this time.

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Nethfel

 
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Suggestions:

Although you don't want an external flash, it's a good investment. A good canon speedlight flash either a 430 EX II or a 580 EX II, you really want a flash with swivel/tilt head which both of these have. And it will perform much more impressively then the onboard.
If the tripod is one of those $30 you get in bundle deals, get a better tripod - if you have a decent tripod, make sure it can properly support the weight of the new camera which will be significantly heavier then your old G9. Make sure it's a good, solid unit and not one of those flimsy ones. It may cost you some extra coin to get a good one, but it should last you a long time. I bought mine for between 200 and 300 (this was then lower on the good scale of tripod cost range) about 12 years ago, and it still is very reliable.
If you don't already have one, get a card reader. It'll be much faster to transfer photos then thru the usb on the camera
If you want one of the kings of macro for canon - get the MP-E 65 - I used to have this lens when I shot canon and it really is an incredible macro lens. At a 1-5x magnification ratio, I don't know of any other macro lens that offers that with the incredible sharpness of this lens. You have to get close to your subject with this lens, but it is well worth it.
Other good options for cheap is the Tokina 100mm macro lens, it's cheap but performs very well. Tamron and Sigma also make very nice macro lenses in the 180mm range but they are about 2x the cost of the tokina.
You'll probably find that you'll want to upgrade the kit lenses - although they will work and get decent pictures, they aren't as good as a quality lens (like some of the higher end 3rd party or the canon L line). But it's easy to spend lots of cash on lenses, so I'd say play with what you have to determine the range you really need to use then go and get a HQ lens (or 2) that cover the range that you need.

Just my humble thoughts =)

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Village Idiot

 
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Buy lenses used from places like this:
Digital camera photo galleries, gallery database, info and forums

It's a huge Canon forum. People generally take good care of their lenses.

You'll need a bag, I like Crumpler, a blower, and lens cleaner. UV filters as protection are highly debatable. It's another layer of glass to cause image quality degradation and those are not pro lenses, so they need all the help they can get.

Buy books, read forums, ask questions, shoot.

And never say "I don't want to do this type of photography" until you try it. I didn't want to shoot people when I first started. I love it now and that's why I do photography. I didn't want to take pictures of animals, but I love shooting at the zoo now. I never wanted to use a flash but now some of my most amazing photos are created with creative lighting.

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nikonjin

 
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Congrats on the new camera . Great choice.

I would definitely get hoods. Flare is a bummer. An accidental bump on the filter ring is too.

UV's are up to you. I'd pass.

The Sigma 10-20 is pretty darned good. Not par with the Canon but pretty darned good. As Village points out, "that forum" is a great resource for knowledge and used items.

It would seem by your interests that may be all you need except for a close up lens. You may want to see if a close up filter would work on the 55-250. Would be a very lightweight alternative.

Good luck and happy shooting.

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roffir

 
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I recommend a uv filter only because it just protects the lens... uv filters are a lot easier to replace rather than the lens itself. Any other lens too such as if you want to take pictures up close there's macro lenses and so on.
Also i recommend a zoom lens. The 18-55 that it comes with (I have the canon rebel xt) isn't meant for zoom. I recommend the 55-250 ef-s its being sold on amazon for around 230 which is an awesome price.
Lastly, an extra battery is very important, and I don't know about anyone else but I have bought the non-canon batteries for cheap and they don't last. Don't last as in the don't keep any charge after about a year, but that's just my experience.
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bobtomay

 
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Thanks everyone - got the camera & kit lens - the 55-250 (only $50 from Amazon with the kit) - bag, extra battery and a couple of uv filters.

Guess I need to get the hoods for them - only been reading and taken about 100 shots in the backyard so far. Ater a lot of reading, think I'm finally starting to understand the significance between aperture, shutter speed and ISO. The old mind just doesn't seem to grasp new concepts nearly as fast as it use to.

Headed out this morning to the park/greenbelt by the house to experiment and find out if I understood anything or not. Already found out the understanding doesn't translate into good pictures without the experience of knowing what to put together based on the available light. The back yard is almost fully shaded, so most of them have come out pretty dark so far.

Sold one of my old computers yesterday and think I may take that and get a macro. Found one of the 100mm macros on CL for a good price, but at a pound and 1/2, I've gotta pass on it for now and go with the ef-s 60mm. Especially since it's selling used on ebay within about 10% of the price of a new one on Amazon.

VI - you're right, got enough experience to know the reasons you start a hobby may not end up being the same ones you enjoy down the road. And thanks for the tip on the blower and lens cleaner, hadn't thought of that.

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Leukeh

 
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Some of the people in my photography class (about 19 - 21y/o) still don't get it after 14 weeks. Your doing very well if you're getting a grasp on it already!

Anything that protects and cleans your lenses is worth investing in. The extra ~$50 you may spend on each lens for protection is much, much more preferable to replacing the whole thing. Keep them in a bag! Spend about $100 - $150 (AUD) on a decent bag (I have a LowePro Slingshot 200) with enough space to expand your equipment later.
For macro shots, I bought myself a Tamron 90mm f2.8, which works amazingly. Never been happier with a lens.
I also recently bought a fish eye converter off eBay for about $75AUD, which is fun to experiment with. I don't think I'd ever fork out the $800+ for an actual fish eye lens, but you can get some cool shots with the converter, if you're looking for something a little bit different.

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Village Idiot

 
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About UV filters, if you're going to use them, don't go cheap as cheap filters can cause image quality degradation. If you're going to buy cheap, stick with a low end B+W.

MaxSaver.Net (hvStar) Photo, Digital, Video Professional Store is a site that has some of the lowest filter prices that I've seen that I would trust buying from. I think your lenses don't go about 60mm for the filter size. It'll say on the lens itself. That'll keep the price down. Those 77mm + filters can get expensive.

I don't remember if I have seen this suggested yet, but look into the book understanding exposure. I haven't personally read it, but I see it being reccomended to new photographers all the time. I may pick it up to see what it has to say so I can actually vouch for it.

Learning the relationship between ISO, aperture, and shutter speed then learning how to use your camera's meter will probably be the most important thing you can learn right now. Once you get that down, you can move on to dynamics in lighting. Shooting mid day, in heavy sun, and outside will generally yeild less than desired results. The camera's sensor has much less dynamic range than the human eye, so what details you can see in the shadows may be lost to the camera and what details you can see in the sky and lighted areas may also be blown out to the camera's sensor. It's tricky, but eventually you'll learn when to shoot, how to shoot, and how to get the pictures you want.

I've been doing this for about a little more than 4 years seriously, I'm still learning.

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Since you don't like using a flash I will suggest getting a Canon Prime Lens with a wide aperture like the Canon 50mm F/1.4 or the Canon 85mm F/1.8. I have owned both of these and still own the 85mm. I don't care for flash photography my self and the 85mm F/1.8 allows me to shoot with available light inside GYM's and other areas where flashes are discouraged during sporting events. I have a couple of Canon L series pro lenses and my 85mm is the one I use the most. I'm getting ready to move from the Canon Rebel XT to 50D in the next few months as I attemp to try to do some semi-pro photography.

As already suggested buy some good books and visit Photography-on-the-net forums. I really enjoy that place and it is a good place for advice and reviews on the Canon line-up.

Remember faster lenses are better, cost more, but worth it. Image Stabilization is no replacement for a fast lens (wide aperture).
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Staying at a B&B for the weekend in the Texas Hillcountry - woke up at 5 and decided to go out to do some shooting. Here's a couple of shots I got of the sunrise.

Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch


Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch

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shaun raney

 
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My only advice to you is SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT AND SHOOT SOME MORE.

You'll find what satisfies you the most, and then go from there.

The greatest thing that you can obtain for yourself in any given field, is knowlege and experience. Pick up books, take classes, go out and do.

I have the same camera, as well as an earlier Rebel XT in the family, and they are absolutely great for what they do. I'd hold off on rushing to pick up gear besides the following, a GOOD tripod. Bogen/Manfrotto makes some great stuff that is reasonable. Buying cheap earlier only burns you later.

also, get your DIY skills up!
Check out some these websites too:

Digital camera photo galleries, gallery database, info and forums
Strobist

Again, avoid the urge to go out and buy up all the equipment you can. Go out and do, and buy right for what you like to do.
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I am also just starting up - or actually restarting as I used to do photography many years ago. Then I used a Canon A1 and a Canon AE1 - with film of course, plus a small Ixus for point and shoot convenience.

Now I have just bought a Panasonic Lumix G1. I chose this instead of staying with Canon, due to the smaller size of the G1. I assume that nothing I used way back when is of any use now anyway. Is that actually true?

I am now trying to learn how to use the new camera. I seem to be photographing flowers more than most other things, plus my dog of course and a few landscape snaps.

As I use a Mac, I am starting to learn iPhoto. Does this replace Photoshop Elements or do I need something like that for processing my pictures? Is Photoshop Elements the one to go for, or is there a better option for the Mac?

I have not tried taking photos in RAW mode yet, but the camera has the ability to do so and it looks as if that is the best way to go. I assume I need some proper software to do that, rather than just iPhoto or the software which came with the camera?

Not sure where the hobby is going. Not likely to do anything professionally. I am 56 next week, so this might be a fun way of spending my later years once I retire.

One other thing - I read somewhere that flashguns intended for film cameras are not safe to use with digital cameras, as the voltage may be too high and may destroy the camera. How can I find out the voltage of the hotshoe on my flashgun and the safe voltage for my camera please?
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